Tuesday, November 21st, 2023 Posted by Jim Thacker

Planetside Software releases Terragen 4.7

Planetside Software has released Terragen 4.7, the new version of its landscape-generation tool.

The release improves export of volumetric clouds and terrain, streamlines workflow in the node graph, and adds support for exporting HDR files and multi-layer and multi-part EXR files.

It also shakes up Terragen’s pricing, with sales of the old Creative edition discontinued, and a new five-tier price structure making the Professional edition available to indie artists from $199.

One of the first off-the-shelf tools for generating VFX-quality landscapes
First released in the 2000s, Terragen is one of the original professional landscape-generation tools, having been used at VFX studios including ILM, Digital Domain and MPC.

As well as terrain itself, it can generate surface water features, atmospheric and weather effects, clouds and skies, and is capable of generating and rendering very large environments.

It continues to be updated steadily, typically receiving an update per year.

All editions: better update of clouds and terrain
This year’s update, Terragen 4.7, optimizes the process of exporting clouds and terrain.

For clouds, the VDB Exporter now leaves grid points empty whenever the cloud density value is zero, reducing file sizes.

Users can also export parts of a cloud at different resolutions by isolating them using a new Bounding Box object.

For terrain, the Micro Exporter now merges duplicated vertices, normals, faces and UVs, resulting in cleaner exported geometry, and can now be used with multi-threaded renders.

All editions: workflow improvements and HDR export
Workflow in the node graph has been improved, with inactive connections – those where the associated parameter checkbox is unchecked – now drawn with a faded line to improve readability of the graph.

It is also now possible to export images in .hdr format.

Changes specific to one or more of the old editions
Changes unique to one or more of the old editions of Terragen – about which, more in a minute – include the option to export render elements from the Professional edition as multi-layer or multi-part EXR files.

The Creative edition can now export images and heightfields as EXR files, and all three of the old editions, including the non-commercial Free edition, now have the new RPC system introduced in Terragen 4.6.

New price structure: now only the Professional edition, with five price tiers
However, one of those editions no longer exists, at least for the purposes of new licences, since Planetside Software has just changed its pricing structure for Terragen.

Previously, the software was available in three editions: a Free non-commercial trial, a feature-limited $349 Creative edition, and the full $649 Professional edition.

Now all of the new licences sold will be the Professional edition, but Planetside has introduced a tiered price structure based on how much an individual or company earns.

There are five tiers, ranging from earnings of $50,000/year to over $1 billion/year.

Perpetual licences now cost between $199 and $980, depending on which tier you fall in, while subscriptions cost between $10/month and $56/month, or $96/year and $492/year.

Existing users can choose whether to continue at their current price or change to new pricing.

Pricing and availability
Terragen 4.7 is available for Windows, Linux and macOS. The new price structure is summarized in the story above, and you can find a full list of prices here.

Read an overview of the new features in Terragen 4.7 on Planetside Software’s blog

Read a full list of new features in Terragen 4.7 in the online release notes

Read Planetside Software’s online FAQs about Terragen’s new pricing structure

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